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Amy Utting's Family Branches

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Surname Origin: An Analysis

One reason that I find family history and genealogy so fascinating is because doing this research tells you so much about your family origins; where my ancestors were from and how they lived their lives. The fact that without our ancestors we wouldn't be here, and how each decision they made in their lives culminated in the lives that we now live? Something that I don't think I'll ever fully comprehend.

For a while now, I've wanted to do a full analysis of the surnames of my direct ancestors, where my branch is from compared to the origins of the surname, and finding out the meanings of the names that I carry in my blood—after all, every name has its meaning, and they're all equally as important as each other.

I do have surnames that pop up more than once in my tree in different locations; my Taylor branches, for instance, I have inherited from both of my paternal grandparents however one branch is based in Kent and the other in London. I've indicated this wherever possible.

Surnames

Argent

Branch Location: Kent, England
Leafing Ancestor: Elizabeth Argent

Etymology

The Argent surname may have two origins: it firstly might be of Old French origin, deriving from the Old French "argent" meaning silver; it may have been used as a nickname for someone with silver hair or who worked with metal; or it might be a topographical name for someone living near a silver mine.[1]


Barker

Branch Location: Berkshire, England
Leafing Ancestor: Ezekiel Barker

Etymology

This interesting surname, with variant spelling Berker, has two possible origins. Firstly, it may be a metonymic occupational name for a tanner of leather deriving from the Old English.[2]


Barnes

Branch Location: Norfolk, England
Leafing Ancestor: Mary Barnes

Etymology

This surname has three possible origins: firstly, it may be a topographical or occupational name of Anglo-Saxon origin for someone who lived or worked in a barn, derived from Old English. It may also be a name of Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse inheritance, borne by the son or servant of a member of the upper classes, translating to young warrior. It thirdly may be of Irish origin as an Anglicised form of O'Bearain, descendant of Bearan, meaning spear.[3]


Bateman

Branch Location: Norfolk, England
Leafing Ancestor: Mary Barnes

Etymology

This surname has three possible origins: firstly, it may be a topographical or occupational name of Anglo-Saxon origin for someone who lived or worked in a barn, derived from Old English. It may also be a name of Anglo-Saxon and Old Norse inheritance, borne by the son or servant of a member of the upper classes, translating to young warrior. It thirdly may be of Irish origin as an Anglicised form of O'Bearain, descendant of Bearan, meaning spear.[4]


Batten

Branch Location: Devon, England
Leafing Ancestor: Ruth Batten

Etymology

There are two possible origins for this surname: the first is that it is a diminutive form of the medieval given name Battle, itself a diminutive of Bartholomew. The second is a derivation from an Old English pre-7th century name Bata, meaning thickset or powerfully built.[5]


Brissenden

Branch Location: Kent, England
Leafing Ancestor: Mary Brissenden

Etymology

Recorded by various spellings, Brissenden is an English locational surname most likely originating from the hamlet of Brissendean Green in Kent, or possible a now 'lost' medieval village.[6]


Condon

Branch Location: Galway, Ireland
Leafing Ancestor: Patrick Condon

Etymology

Most common in the counties of Cork, Limerick and Timmerary, the Irish surname Condon (Condún) is derived from the Anglo-Norman name de Caunteton which was brought to Ireland in the 12th century with Nicholas de Caunteton.


Cunningham

Branch Location: Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
Leafing Ancestor: John Cunningham

Etymology

Of early medieval Scottish origin, Cunningham is a locational regional name from Cunninghame, one of the territorial divisions of the county of Ayrshire.[7]


James

Branch Location: Gloucestershire, England
Leafing Ancestor: Mary James

Etymology

Of Biblical origin, James originates from the Hebrew name "Yaakov", which is frequently Latinised as Jacob. However, while this much is clear, the official meaning of the name is uncertain. Traditionally, "Yaakov" is interpreted as being derived from the word "akev", which means "a heel". The name has also been studied as potentially meaning "he who supplanted".[8] The first recording of the surname was made by a man by the name of Walter James, dated as being from 1187 in the Pipe Rolls of Gloucestershire, which also happens to be where my James branch begins to climb.


McKenzie

'Branch Location: Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
Leafing Ancestor: Christian McKenzie

Etymology

The McKenzie surname is an anglicised form of the Scottish Gaelic MacCoinnich, a patronymic form of the personal name Coinneach (Kenneth) meaning "comely".[9]


Ross

Branch Location: Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
'Leafing Ancestor: William Ross (first branch); Christian Ross or McFinlaymore (second branch)

Etymology

The Ross surname, originating in Scotland, comes from the given name Andrew, derived from Anrias, and is roughly derived from the Gaelic for "headland".


Taylor

Branch Location: Kent, England ; London, England ; Nottinghamshire, England
Leafing Ancestor: William Taylor (first branch); John William Taylor (second branch); James Taylor (third branch)

Etymology

An occupational surname, Taylor is most frequently cited as being an English surname of Norman origin. It is derived from the Old French "tailleur" ("cutter"), initially being adopted as a surname after the 12th century after having been brought to England by William the Conqueror during the Norman Conquest.[10]


Utting

Branch Location: Norfolk, England ; Liverpool, England (possibly)
Leafing Ancestor: Robert Utting

Etymology

Utting is an unusual surname, predominantly found in Norfolk, which derives from a pre-7th century Old English personal name Utting, which was a patronymic form of Utta. Though the precise meaning of Utta is unknown, it can likely be attributed to the Saxon Otta, meaning "riches".[11]


Watson

Branch Location: Norfolk, England
Leafing Ancestor: George Watson

Etymology

Claiming both Norman and Anglo-Scottish origin, the surname Watson is a pre-7th century Anglo-Saxon patronymic form of the name Watt–in itself, a variation of Walter. This is believed to translate roughly to "powerful warrior". After the Conquest of England in 1066 by the Normans, it can also be claimed that the name was carried across to Britannia in the forms of Waltier and Wautier.


Wimark

Branch Location: Kent, England
Leafing Ancestor: Jane Wimark

Etymology

First found in the Saxon village of Weymouth in Dorset, the surname Wimark dates back to at least 934 when it was first listed as Waimouthe, and literally means "mouth of the River Wey," an ancient English river name.[12]


  1. Surname Database, Argent: accessed April 20, 2020.
  2. Surname Database, Barker: accessed April 20, 2020.
  3. Surname Database, Barnes: accessed April 20, 2020.
  4. Surname Database, Bateman: accessed April 20, 2020.
  5. Surname Database, Batten: accessed April 20, 2020.
  6. Surname Database, Brissenden: accessed March 7, 2020.
  7. Surname Database, Cunningham: accessed January 14, 2020.
  8. Surname Database James : accessed March 2, 2019.
  9. House of Names, McKenzie: accessed January 14, 2020.
  10. Surname Database, Taylor : accessed March 2, 2019.
  11. Surname Database, Utting : accessed February 28, 2019.
  12. House of Names, Wimark: accessed January 14, 2020.




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